WATCH: GOP lawmakers hold news briefing on infant formula shortage

House Republicans gathered outside the U.S. Capitol Thursday, demanding answers from the Food and Drug Administration and the White House about the response to the nation’s baby formula shortage.

Watch the briefing in the player above.

The problem is the result of supply chain disruptions and a safety recall, and has had a cascade of effects: Retailers are limiting what customers can buy, and doctors and health workers are urging parents to contact food banks or physicians’ offices, in addition to warning against watering down formula to stretch supplies or using online DIY recipes.

READ MORE: Biden talks to infant formula makers as parents search for supplies

The shortage is driving parents to swap, sell and offer leftover formula supplies to each other.

“Babies have been put to bed hungry while parents are desperately trying to find alternative formulas that are often difficult to procure. This is not a third world country. This should never happen in the United States of America,” said New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik.

The White House says President Joe Biden will speak with manufacturers and retailers Thursday about the plight facing families. But Republicans in Congress say the action is too little, too late.

“Food security is national security. And right now we have a food security crisis for the most vulnerable of Americans, the ones that we cherish the most and that’s our babies,” said Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

“This is a crisis that should never be happening, and this is completely squarely on the shoulders of the Biden administration and the Democrats that are controlling our government,” Greene added.

Rep. Michael Waltz of Florida went a step further: “In Joe Biden’s America, it seems like it’s easier to get a crack pipe in a government funded smoking kit than it is to find baby formula.”

The shortage is weighing particularly on lower-income families after the recall by formula maker Abbott stemming from contamination concerns. That recall wiped out many brands covered by WIC, a federal program like food stamps that serves mothers, infants and children, though the program now permits brand substitutes.

Shortages of basic goods have been a problem since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020. Access to medical supplies, computer chips, household appliances, autos and other goods has been hurt by closed factories and outbreaks of the virus, as well as storms and other climate-related events.